Every year flight attendants go through extensive training to keep you safe when you fly. You may have heard it so many times you can sleep through the safety demo, but a serious part of the pre-flight announcement addresses what to do in ‘the unlikely event of an emergency.” One of the scenarios flight crews practice over and over is bracing for an anticipated emergency landing. Should this extremely rare situation occur, which it thankfully never did in my 25 year career, I felt prepared and knew exactly what to do.
The late night call about my mom’s death came with absolutely no warning or bracing time, and the impact was devastating. It didn’t take long before the tempory anesthesia of shock began to wear off and the painful reality set in. It was impossible to imagine what life would look life without her, my #1 life cheerleader, ‘Beazy.’
I remember waking one morning with a palpable fear of forgetting about her. How would I keep memories fresh…growing up in our way less-than-perfect, but ridiculously entertaining home? Two parents, psychotic canines, five loud kids and countless strays (hungry kids) stopping by at mealtime. It was that morning I started to write.
Some surprising things happened as I wrote in my spiral journal. The Beazy stories definitely brought some tears, but gradually I began to feel my smile coming back. Writing was making my heavy heart feel a little lighter. As memories and photos, even some recipes were safely preserved on paper the fear of forgetting about my mom began to fade away. I had a comforting place to go to remember her.
So, what about you? Maybe you’ve gotten traumatic news with no time to brace. If that’s your story, I’m so very sorry for your loss. I don’t pretend to know what’s going on in your heart; but I do believe there’s something you can do, even today to help keep your memories fresh. Get a journal, and start to write. The story of a life is priceless, and much too important to be forgotten.